“ We have spent the last 10 years restoring this beautiful building back to its former glory and we want as many people as possible to be able to see it and enjoy it. It is such an unusual building in a lovely location and visitors are always complimentary. ”

Martin Phillips

Architectural History

Howsham Mill was built in 1755 by the new owner of Howsham Hall. It was probably designed by the architect John Carr of York as an eye-catcher or folly. It was a working mill until 1947 when it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It has been restored back to its former glory over the last 10 years by the present owners, the Renewable Heritage Trust. Its waterwheel no longer drives grinding stones but is connected to a generator and together with an Archimedes Screw turbine in the nearby weir, generates electricity for the mill and export to the National Grid. The building is now used as an environmental education centre and meeting place for community activities.

Architectural Features

The main part of the mill is in the ornate mock Gothic style. It is 8 x 8 m and two storeys built of stone. Three elevations have windows, some open, some blind and one the full height of the building. There are ogee arches above this window and the two doors. A pair of blind quatrefoil windows is on each of these elevations. The west elevation away from the Hall is a functionally-designed, single storey extension, the granary where the grain was stored. The main part has a pyramidal slate roof with dormer windows on three sides. At the corners and on the dormer windows are crocketed finials. The roof and all the ornate stonework are new and faithfully match the original. Doors and windows also match the period.
The inside of the walls are the original bare brick, with all features retained. There is a flagstone floor, fireplace in one corner now with a small stove, but none of the gear work or stones making it an open space. The staircase, bannisters, rails and first floor are all made of oak with a void in front of the tall window. Discreet conservation skylights provide plenty of natural light. The original lead figure of Diana the goddess of hunting that was at the roof apex has been lost and was replaced with one made from stainless steel mesh.
The granary is brick lined with custom-made ash worktops, sink and kitchen appliances and cabinet storing electrical equipment for the hydro system.

Filming Attributes

Public access to the mill is by gravel footpath only, 400 m from the road. It may be possible to arrange vehicular access across a grass field (also possible to land a helicopter). The mill is on a small island and access is via a timber bridge 1.8 m wide, strong enough to allow heavy equipment to cross. There is a 2 m width of cobbles around the building, then mown grass with the rest of the island is semi-natural deciduous woodland. The natural lighting on the building is good; electricity is available for artificial lights. The building has discrete down lights on three elevations and spotlights on the four corners pointing at Diana and is suitable for night shooting. Hot works would be possible and animals such as individual horses and dogs could be brought onto the island. There is a telephone, broadband and reasonable mobile phone coverage. Toilet facilities are limited and there are no additional buildings . A caravan could be parked in the car park by the road.

Special Considerations

  • Animals Allowed
  • Hotworks
  • Remote Area
  • Weekend Shoots


The mill is about 12 miles from York and 6 miles from Malton. A minor road from the A64 leads to Howsham. There is a car park with gravel surface adjacent to Howsham Bridge over the River Derwent. The river is a beautiful unspoilt lowland river, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The river passes over the weir by the mill where the Archimedes screw turbine is located. The canal cut and lock that allowed barges to navigate around the mill and weir are disused. There are no concrete or tarmac surfaces on the island. Immediately adjacent to the mill island is the parkland of Howsham Hall. The wider surrounding countryside is a mix of woodland, grassland and arable fields, with the river flowing through it.
The river has flooded the mill several times in the last 10 years, only once in summer.

Crew and Relevant Links


Email: nancy.sheridan@heritage4media.com

Phone: Heritage4Media: 07736 364722

Website: www.howshammill.org.uk/